The clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in and temperatures have definitely dropped. .You’ve probably got your own ideas of how your kitchen will look and perhaps have even looked at other handmade kitchens for some inspiration.
If you’re already planning a kitchen, then you might well have spent a lot of time pondering the type of bespoke cabinetry you want or worktops, splashback materials and even appliances you and your family will need to keep things running smoothly. Perhaps you are thinking about lighting and wall colours but the one thing that can often make or break the usability of a kitchen – particularly during the winter months – is often not given nearly enough thought.
You will want to consider how you heat your kitchen, whether it’s radiators, a cast-iron range that runs the central heating, or underfloor heating. You have to remember that your choice will have a huge impact not just on how you use your kitchen when it’s complete but how you design the room from the beginning.
BACK TO BASICS
The key to a heating system that works efficiently is a good boiler. When planning your kitchen design, iperhaps think about a new boiler rather than repairing if yours is more than 15 years old as they’re not nearly as energy efficient. Updating an old system to an A-rated condensing boiler could reward you with a 90% increase in efficiency. Also, replacing a boiler could free up more room for more cupboards or worktops and you’ll benefit from instant hot water if you opt for a condensing combi-boiler – why wouldn’t you update it?
CHOOSING YOUR TYPE
For many years, central heating systems running a series of radiators have been the heating of choice. Usually already in place, it may be worth updating them from the dated 1970s flat panel models to radiators on offer from specialists such as Bisque or Aestus – they can completely change the look of a room. For contemporary schemes look at ladder-style vertical radiators in sleek white and steel finishes and for classic kitchens pick something a little more period in it’s look.
If you’re eco-minded then aluminium models may be a good option as they heat up and cool down much faster than traditional radiators. This will save both time and energy.
You should definitely ensure you have just the right amount of radiators to heat the room. There are plenty of online calculators to help you do this – just pop in the room’s dimensions, the number of windows and the calculator will give you the BTUs or wattage required.
- Underfloor heating
A great option if your kitchen is being designed from the floor up; underfloor heating gives comfortable radiant heat and can deliver great savings too.
It depends on what type of heating you opt for but underfloor heating can be used under most types of flooring, including: stone, tile, wood and vinyl. It’s best to check your floor is a suitable match before you go ahead and invest though! However a large kitchen with porcelain or ceramic tiles is usually a perfect fit with underfloor heating.
You can choose from two options, electric and wet systems. Electric flooring is easier to fit, being a network of wire elements on a mesh that is placed below the flooring or wet systems, which use water pipes below the floor. An electric system is easier to lay and can be retro-fitted fairly easily if you’re laying a new floor but it is important to check with your builder first. Wet systems require much more work and are better suited to renovations such as new extensions or completely new builds.
One of the biggest benefits of underfloor heating is that you don’t have to give over valuable wall space to other heating products such as radiators which means more room for cabinets and storage. Make sure your kitchen design is finalised before the pipes or matts are laid for the flooring. A floor plan from your expert designer will help any heating engineer advise not only the best pattern to lay the floor in but also where to place the controls on the walls. Using a timed thermostat means that you can set the heating on to warm the room just enough so it’s a little easier to step into your kitchen on a frosty winter morning.
- Cast-iron ranges
While an ‘always-on’ Aga is often the traditional choice in farmhouse designs, it will also provide a radiant heat to warm your kitchen on a winter’s morning but it isn’t a central heating system. If you want your heat-store range to do that, then opt for models from Stanley or Rayburn, which can often run up to 20 radiators.
- Go mobile
Finally, consider investing in an app-controlled heating system such as Hive or Nest so you can switch on your heating, using your phone, wherever and whenever you feel the need with great ease. Putting your mind at rest whilst knowing you will be toasty warm when you arrive home.